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Skyscript Astrology Forum

The Yavanajataka reconsidered

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Martin Gansten

Joined: 05 Jul 2008
Posts: 1282
Location: Malmö, Sweden

Posted: Wed May 01, 2013 7:47 am    Post subject: The Yavanajataka reconsidered Reply with quote

I have been away from Skyscript for some weeks, but hope to resume moderator responsibilities soon. Meanwhile, a highly interesting and well-researched paper concerning the early history of the transmission of Greek astrology into India has just been published in History of Science in South Asia and is available here. This relates particularly to the last chapter of the Yavanajātaka, which has been the subject of debate on this forum before.
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Joined: 17 Nov 2006
Posts: 1219
Location: Delhi

Posted: Wed May 01, 2013 10:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Fascinating article.
Looks like Shukla did do some good things by pointing the correction by structure of the metre.

Someone may have to simplify the article for me to understand it fully Smile

Just the right time to introduce an INdian dish that was widely used in those times and Alexander liked it too.

and Pilaf

One of the earliest literary references to Pilaf can be found in the histories of Alexander the Great when describing Bactrian hospitality. (Bactria was an eastern province in Greater Iran, probably the birthplace of Alexander's wife Roxana and geographically located in modern Ferghana valley). It was known to have been served to Alexander at a royal banquet following his capture of the Sogdian capital of Marakanda (modern Samarkand, Uzbekistan). It is believed that soldiers from Alexander's army brought the preparation of pilaf back to Macedonia, after which it spread throughout Greece.

This is how Pingree should have attempted Yavanjatak.

PD Very Happy

Last edited by pankajdubey on Wed May 01, 2013 3:36 pm; edited 2 times in total
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Kenneth Johnson

Joined: 12 Aug 2012
Posts: 132
Location: San Luis Obispo, CA

Posted: Wed May 01, 2013 12:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have been wondering when someone was going to raise issues about the provenance of the YJ.

As Pingree himself remarked, the images of the hora chart (D2) are clearly founded in Shiva-Shakti iconography, and 269 CE seems a bit early for all of that. And, as Chris Brennan pointed out, the so-called "horary" chapters of the YJ are not horary at all, but rather an example of "consultation astrology" which has its roots in magical practices such as guessing the client's thoughts, etc. Pingree also acknowledges that Greek humoral medicine has been replaced by Ayurveda.

Altogether, there seems to be a lot more of India and a lot less of Greece in the YJ than has previously been acknowledged.
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